Official figures showed today that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014. The figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the economy is now larger than it was before the recession (0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak).
This news comes after The International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded its forecast for UK growth to 3.2% this year, and 2.7% in 2015, making Britain the fastest growing economy out of all of the major developed countries.
The ONS said that output increased in two of the four main industrial groupings with the services sector leading the way, expanding by 1.0%. Production saw output increase by 0.4%. However, construction shrank by 0.5% as did agriculture by 0.2%.
The ONS’s preliminary estimates of GDP do not include a breakdown of spending. They are the first released in the EU, and are based partly on estimated data. Upcoming changes to the way the ONS calculates GDP are expected to show that the British economy passed its pre-crisis peak earlier than in the second quarter of 2014.
Critics argue that this recovery has been slow, with shadow chancellor Ed Balls arguing that this milestone was reached two years later than the Chancellor’s original plan, and three years after the US reached the same point. Additionally, it was pointed out that GDP per head is not set to recover to where it was for another three years.